South Orange Mom launched life skills program for kids. Character U offers parent-child workshops, elementary school programs and an interactive book, available online

Children today face new challenges. Social interactions are amplified through social media. College prep begins in Kindergarten and testing is done earlier and more frequently. These pressures are layered on top of all the typical ups and downs that make up childhood.

Addressing this concern, local mom Gretchen Burman, has launched Character U.  Character U offers workshops for parents, educators and children where together they learn and practice a common language of a dozen essential life tools, referred to as “The 12 Cs,” in a child-friendly way. 

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The approach is a well-rounded life skills training program providing a platform to initiate and discuss children’s obstacles and anxieties and fill their “toolbox” so they are more prepared to successfully handle the ups and downs of life, as well as excel and improve with things like positive behavior and academic performance. 

“Several recent studies reinforce the importance of Life Skills Education and Social and Emotional Learning at a young age for short- and long-term success academically, behaviorally, and socially.  Character U is built to fulfill this need… in the home and in group settings,” explains Burman.

The 12 Cs are taught through the Life Skills for Kids parents-child workshops and elementary school programs (workshops, author visits and assemblies).  Burman also authored the book, The Adventures of Ooga and Zeeta.  The book provides interactive activities that can be practiced at home independently, or as a complement to her programs.

The Adventures of Ooga and Zeeta can be found online at and

Gretchen Burman is mother to 2 girls in grades 3 & pre-school.  Burman founded Character U in 2015 and is actively running workshops in the Northern NJ community.

Upcoming Life Skills for Kids Parent-Child Workshop

Work and Play, South Orange, NJ, 6 Wednesdays 4/6-5/18/16 (except 4/13/16) 6:30pm-7:30pm

Learn more at  Email or call 973-913-4612.